Question: If one is a spiritual person, will his next incarnation be different from that of an ordinary person?

Sri Chinmoy: Certainly. If a soul is very spiritually advanced, it will not take an ordinary life, because it will have already gone through the ordinary life. Each incarnation is a steppingstone towards our ultimate God-realisation. When one has consciously aspired in his last incarnation, his future birth will hold more opportunities for his spiritual progress. Now if a seeker actually started his spiritual life in his past incarnation, if he was really sincere in his spiritual practices in his previous life, then naturally in this life he will start aspiring at a very young age. He will be born into a spiritual family where he will be encouraged to lead the spiritual life from his very birth, and he will start aspiring when he is ten or twelve or fourteen or sixteen. It may happen, however, that his circumstances are bad. Then even if he had started his spiritual life in his past incarnation, in this incarnation he will go slowly because he will not get help from his parents or from his environment. But it is not a risk; it is a journey. In the process of evolution the soul covers thousands of inner miles gaining different experiences, and it is these experiences that eventually give the soul its fullest realisation.

But if the person was a very great aspirant who was about to realise God, then he will almost definitely come into a very highly developed spiritual family and, from the very beginning, will be able to enter into the true spiritual life. Most of the real spiritual Masters enter into very highly developed spiritual families. God may send a spiritual Master into an unaspiring family, since He is not bound by any plan, but in most cases spiritual Masters come into spiritual families.